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Startup Nation: Community vs. Success in Australian tech startups

There’s a lot of buzz right now about entrepeneurship, innvoation and the startup ecosystem with reports out of the US from Startup Genome (a listing site for angels, vcs and startups by US tech clusters)  and Startup Compass (great website with superb research on the factors influencing startup success, also have a great tool for benchmarking your startup – confusingly called the Startup Genome report but with no relation to above), and we’re loving it.

After all, we’re a startup too and certainly have our own challenges in our first year. Knowing that we can reach out to the global community and sift through data to help us benchmark our progress makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside, especially because we happen to be based in the most isolated city in the world!

While the likes of Startup Genome, AngelList and Startup Compass are doing a great job of taking a big picture look at global innovation, we want to zoom in on Australia; scrape it with a fine toothcomb and carve a snapshot of our ever evolving tech startup scene.

Through quarterly pulse surveys we aim to create a picture of the different factors that contribute to a vibrant startup community in Australia. We’ll do this through interactive maps, info graphics and white papers.

In this first pulse survey we’re aiming to find out how important physical communities are in supporting startups and entrepreneurship.  We spend endless hours building digital platforms but we strongly believe the “community” is a determining factor in turning those ideas into awesome companies.

There is lots of talk about how the cost of starting a digital venture is dropping drastically and so you no longer have to be near the angels and VCs of Silicon Valley or New York to build the next Instagram. You just need a few guys or gals crazy enough to scratch something together and pay for the hosting fees. Being lovers of technology you can think I can get all the knowledge needed through pixels.

But we think there’s nothing better to get an idea out of your head and into the real world than like minded folks to chew the fat with over a beer.  So we want to see if folks that do more of that and the cities or suburbs that foster more random meetups, drinks and chats track any different.

Of course, this is hardly news – there’s a reason co-working spaces and incubators are growing like wildfire. Paul Graham and the crew at YCombinator are now betting that with great people in an awesome melting pot great teams sans ideas can succeed. Malcom Gladwell also makes a great case for the impact of super networkers in his book Tipping Point. And I’m sure we all wonder whether we should jump ship and go to a US tech cluster like SF where we know opportunities abound to stumble into other slightly crazy folks.

But we think some quantitative data against it and a map of Australia’s startup hubs by postcode rather than LinkedIn connections or Twitter followers would be useful.

If you read Startup Compass’ latest report Sydney and Melbourne  rank #21 and #22 respectively, but we wonder how other Aussie cities are going and whether there some cool hubs building up around certain postcodes like Surrey Hills or Leederville.

After we’ve got together the data we’ll put out a report and create a map of the Australian tech scene. We promise it’ll be so beautiful you’ll want to print it and then pop on your bike to visit your local partners in crime.

We recognise the info you give us is priceless so it will forever remain anonymous, and your details will stay locked up in the Floq vault. It would be great if you’d be happy to share your name, logo and url so we can pop it on the interactive map, but of course this is entirely up to you.

We hope you see the value in our effort to create a richer community for the Australian tech scene. We’d be mighty grateful if you’d please share the love by sharing the link: